I've never done a 'gear review' post before. I don't get free gear to review from companies or anything like that, so I never thought my opinion mattered that much. Then I realized that most folks are average users like myself. So I thought I would take a crack at it and just share with you a few of things that I am totally love with this season.
1. Stonemaster Skinny Climbing Pant- I have been eyeing up these pants for awhile at my local shop (Rock and Snow in New Paltz!) and finally took the plunge. All I have to say is 'why did I wait so long????' I would have worn them all spring if I had gotten them sooner! I love the stretch in them that that doesn't inhibit my climbing movements at all and the skinny-leg, three-pocket styling is super cute. In fact, the first day I wore these to the crag, I also wore them later that night with a pair of super-sexy pumps to a nice dinner with my climbing partner. These are also a great choice for ladies who want to rock the skinny leg look but find regular jeans to be too binding in the hips/thigh area.
2. La Sportiva Women's Katana- Personally, I LOVE the new color for the women's Katana, but it wouldn't mean much if they didn't climb well also. I feel like a climbing ninja in these shoes!!! They edge on a dime and smear like nobody's business. My confidence has gone up so much climbing in these! Best of all, I personally find them comfortable enough to climb in for most of the day. I've climbed in super-tight shoes before and its just no fun to be in so much pain you can't think about the climb and the first thing you want to do when you get to the belay is rip your shoes off! The strap closest to the ankle is a little long for me and sometimes gets caught on things, but it hasn't caused me any serious problems, especially since the shoes have broken in and the molded a little better to my foot. As long as they make them in hot pink, I will be buying more of these puppies!
3. Petzl Micro Traxion- I was introduced to this little gizmo for top-rope soloing this spring. It rocked my world! I could set-up a top-rope and in a few hours climb hundreds of feet- without needing to find a partner! It made for a great way to train/exercise for a few hours on a nice afternoon and it helped me on a mental level too. I climbed on TR solo much like a would on lead even though I had the back-up of the top rope. It really boosted my confidence and empowered me with a new set up of skills for climbing. I think this is one of the biggest reasons I'm having a lot of success on the sharp end so far this season!
4. Patagonia Women's Merino 1 Silkweight Tank- How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! So I know its going to sound a little gross, but I wore this top for almost a week straight before I finally took it off and washed it- and put it right back on again! But that's the beauty of it! Its merino wool, so even in the hot-hot-hot of summer, sweatin' up a storm while bakin' on the cliff, this thing doesn't stink! It's like miracle fabric! The other beautiful thing about wool is how little material it takes to do its job well. This top is very lightweight and breathes like a dream. The scoop neck cut is super-flattering while providing the perfect amount of coverage. I want more of them!!!!
5. SheJumps trucker hat- When I take my helmet off at the end of a climbing day- it ain't pretty. My hair is either all over the place or plastered to my head after sweating in the sun all day. This trucker hat saves my bacon by giving me a stylish way to cover up that mop. But the real beauty of this hat is that sales support SheJumps- a non-profit who's mission is to increase female participation in the outdoors. Win-win! Who doesn't want more awesome women to climb, ski, bike, paddle, run or lift with????